Social Cultural Challenges Affecting Women Leaders of Self Help Groups in Bahati Ward, Nakuru County

James Waweru, Nancy Openda, Odero Wanga


Self-help groups aim at promoting socio-economic development among the poor especially women, yet they are often faced with challenges that affect the groups’ leadership which ends up affecting the groups’ performance. In Bahati Ward, for example, 7 out of 95 women groups and 2 out of 33 mixed self-help groups had gone dormant by the end of 2013. The purpose of this study was to investigate socio-cultural challenges affecting women leaders of self-help groups in Bahati ward. The study was carried out using a survey research design. The study was carried out on a population of 321 respondents. Stratified sampling purposive and simple random sampling techniques were used to select 97 respondents. Data was collected using Questionnaire and an interview schedule which were validated using expert opinion from lecturers at Egerton University, Department of Community Development Studies, who examined and gave advice on the face and content validity. The Questionnaire was pilot tested in two self-help groups in the neighboring Kiamaina ward, and was used after achieving a Cronbach alpha coefficient of 0.78. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics of percentages and frequencies. Qualitative data collected from interviews was coded and organized into emerging themes and sub-themes.  The study found out that the socio-cultural challenges that affect women leader SHGs are lack of common goals in a group, illiteracy among members, little respect for female leaders, and low social class integration. The county and national government should organize training for women leaders on business management, monitoring and evaluation, and report writing. Likewise, they should review their policies on long procedures followed by the group members to register their groups and to acquire government funding.

Keywords: Socio-cultural challenges, Women Leaders, Leadership

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